Drug-Addicted Future MD

2 posts in this topic

I need help. 


I’m back in the grip. I relapsed in June because of a confluence of events - mostly a really bad breakup coupled with the demands of school that I just didn’t want to trudge through. 


Was prescribed for ADD when I was in high school. I’m 28 now. As many others have mentioned, it helped tremendously in the beginning (for the first decade or so!). Started on concerta, switched to vyvanse (where the abuse started) then onto adderall. For the sake of brevity, I won’t go into the war story. The gist: even before I was abusing the drug, stimulants changed me. I was narrow-minded, anti-social, etc etc. Senior year of college, I took a medical leave of absence. I knew I was killing myself and couldn’t continue doing what I was doing. I spent 6 years thereafter in a stimulant hellhole. Somehow graduated college, intermixed with a complete loss of friends, jobs (save for dealing), sense of self. I was in and out of the rooms but wasn’t ready to get clean. I just wanted a reprieve in a life of darkness and loneliness. 


I finally got clean and sober in January of 2018. It’s hard to remember what it was like in the early days, but I knew it was difficult. And then it got better. I was sober for 18 months.  I started getting into AA, got a sponsor, made real friends, did service. My life got much bigger in sobriety. I got a dream job (that I still have, thankfully) in clinical research and accepted to an Ivy league school for a premedical program. 


My first semester in school was very challenging. I was unfamiliar with the content; beyond that, I simply did not (do not) know how to be a student without medication. I would allot plentiful time to sit and study, but I really, really struggled. For 6 months, I fought what felt like a tireless, uphill battle and ended up with a mediocre grade. I am NOT accustomed to this. As I’m sure is the case for many of you, I was a nearly straight A student, in very difficult science classes. Being in school sober made me feel utterly defeated, incompetent, and disabled in a way that felt so fundamental it was scary. So after my boyfriend broke up with me, I went to my doctor and got a script. 


I GENUINELY believed I could control my use. All I wanted was to be able to focus and be the student I knew I could be. It wasn’t long before I started abusing it - and beyond that, it is impossible to go back to the innocence of the pre-war period. My entire life was AA: my relationships, friendships, everything was structured around it. 


It’s been 4 months since the relapse and, while I haven’t been using to the degree that I was, my heart hurts. My friends in AA know everything, and my using has planted a wedge in those friendships. I’ve had no terrible consequences thus far, but I am soul-sick. 


I feel lost. I am no longer after the high, first. All I want is to make the most of this opportunity to complete this program that was so freely given to me. I want to finish my requirements so I can go to medical school and do the thing I feel most passionate about. 


Right now, it feels like I have to choose between being a drug-addicted doctor, or being a sober person whose only recourse is to pursue a different career path. It just feels so impossible for me to be successful and apply myself in school without this fucking medication. 


In my ideal world, I could concentrate without meds. In my ideal world, I would have a place in the rooms to claim my seat and REALLY talk about what’s going on, unmitigated, unadulterated, and raw. I’ve had a run with NA, and can’t find the identification there. I can’t find it in AA, either. I know I am making myself smaller in those meetings, ever so subtly obfuscating in my shares so as to not reveal the very specific set of challenges associated with getting clean from stimulants. 


Please help. Any and all suggestions welcome. I want to save my life.

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Getting off of it will change your life for the good.  All you need is some help and support--and believe in yourself! You can and will do this.  Have you considered outpatient (or inpatient) rehab? or at the very least, seeing a therapist? 


Feel free to message me anytime.  I have been where you've been many times and I am happy to say I have been off Adderall for just over one year and I have no desire to ever to take it again.


Good luck and once again, I"m here if you want to talk !

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